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Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee

Chair David M. Chooljian, MD, JD Loma Linda, CA
Vice Chair Kathleen M. Akgun, MD, MS West Haven, CT
Vice Chair Leonard Sicilian, MD Boston, MA
Committee Member Sarah Beesley, MD, MSc Salt Lake City, UT
Committee Member Elisabeth Boulos, MD, MPhil Portland, OR
Committee Member Margaret A. Carno, PhD, MBA, RN, CPNP, ATSF Rochester, NY
Committee Member Erin S. DeMartino, MD Rochester, MN
Committee Member - PAR Representative Andrea Ferris, MBA Bethesda, MD
Committee Member Roni Grad, MD Tucson, AZ
Committee Member Thomas B. Leonard, PhD Ridgefield, CT
Committee Member Andrej Michalsen, MD, MPH Ueberlingen, Germany, Germany
Committee Member James K. O'Brien, MD Denver, CO
Committee Member Kathleen F. Sarmiento, MD, MPH San Francisco, CA
Committee Member Leslie P. Scheunemann, MD, MPH Pittsburgh, PA
Committee Member Narong Simakajornboon, MD Cincinnati, OH
Committee Member Elizabeth Sonntag, MD Chapel Hill, NC
Committee Member - CCR Representative Jag Sunderram, MD, ATSF New Brunswick, NJ
Staff Shane McDermott New York, NY
Staff John Harmon New York, NY

The Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee recommends to the Board of Directors policies for addressing biomedical and organizational ethical issues, including conflicts of interest. Its goal is to ensure that the ATS is ethical in conduct and effective in advocacy on ethical issues important to the patients we serve. The Committee monitors relevant policies of other societies and reviews recommendations from healthcare experts, ethicists, and other resources, to maintain the professional standing and integrity of the Society in all of its affairs. It advises the ATS President, Executive Committee, assemblies, committees and staff on relevant matters and rapidly emerging issues. It serves as a resource and contributes to the education of members on issues of biomedical and organizational ethics, including conflicts of interest.

Benchmarks, 2018-2019:
1. Identify, prioritize and begin to address needed improvements in:
a. ATS resources on issues of ethical interest in pulmonary medicine, critical care, and sleep medicine, including within
i. the ATS website, podcasts and social media;
ii. the International Conference, with particular attention to education in applied ethics and programs for residents and fellows;
iii. the ATS journals;
iv. Assemblies and committees;
v. ATS chapters.
b. Member utilization of existing ATS guidelines and statements that address biomedical ethics issues, with particular attention to completing by September 2018 an initial assessment and recommendations, and planning case studies on the application of existing statements.

2. Assess and prioritize need for updating and developing relevant guidelines and statements, with particular attention to end of life care, advance care planning, critical care triage and utilization, and involvement of patients or patient advocates.

3. Oversee and improve implementation of ATS policies and procedures for managing conflicts of interest (COI), with particular attention to:
a. Developing “case law” and case studies that summarize the application of policies to specific situations;
b. Collaborating with the Education Committee in the COI aspects of ACCME re-accreditation and the provision of maintenance of certification resources;
c. Assessing the impact of COI disclosure and management on perceptions of bias resulting from Conference presenters’ commercial relationships and other declared interests, including: by September 2018, review data on standardization of disclosure slide display and recommend procedures for the 2019 Conference; plan and implement a more extensive study at the 2019 conference intended for journal publication.